EXCLUSIVE: Audio Up, the podcast company co-founded by actor Dennis Quaid, has made a number of senior hires including the appointment of reality veteran David Hurwitz.
Hurwitz, who has exec produced series including ABC’s Don’t, NBC’s Fear Factor and Ellen’s Game of Games, joins the company as Head of Content.
This comes after the business, which is led by Jingle Punks founder Jared Gutstadt, scored investment from MGM and publishing and talent management company Primary Wave.
“The share of ear between people spending their time on Spotify, Apple, and countless other platforms, is now a full arm’s race. Whoever has the best content and the best talent, wins. We’re aiming to be the first in that race,” said Dennis Quaid.
Quaid, who recently starred in Amazon’s Goliath and Midway, is also chief artist-in-residence at the company, which made his podcast interview series, The Dennissance.
Audio Up currently has nine scripted musicals and 17 unscripted podcasts in production.
In addition to Hurwitz, who will serve as exec producer across many of the company’s podcasts, it has also hired former History exec Krista Liney, who will lead the company’s music-based programming across both scripted and non-scripted shows. She worked with Gutstadt on his 2019 podcast Bear and a Banjo, which also featured Quaid.
Elsewhere, Jimmy Jellinek joins as President of Story. Jellinek, who will lead the company’s efforts in adapting non-fiction stories into scripted projects, was previously Chief Creative Officer at eSports company FaZe Clan, and Chief Content Officer and Editorial Director of Playboy Enterprises.
Philip Alberstat is joining the company as Chief Operating Officer; he was previously an entertainment lawyer, WME agent, and most recently co-founder and COO of Contend, a data driven branded content agency.
LA-based filmmaker and producer Sam Winter, who worked on Netflix’s Hello, Privilege, It’s Me, Chelsea and for Vice Media, also joins.
“David [Hurwitz] was in the room for the creation of some of unscripted television’s most seminal programming and was instrumental in guiding them from idea to inception. I cannot think of anyone better to lead programming for Audio Up,” added Audio Up CEO Jared Gutstadt. “Krista [Liney] recognized the potential for Bear and a Banjo before we even knew what we had. The rest was, no pun intended, history.”
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